A great benefit of reading a book on simplicity is the secret thrill one receives by finding examples of simplicity at work in the course of daily living. Including the drive-thru at In-N-Out Burger.
Here’s a simple drive-thru menu snapped from the window of my car. Lots of Maeda’s Laws at work here. What makes it simple? Some random thoughts:
- An elemental bill of materials. Want fried stuff? French fries. No onion rings. No curly, corkscrew, or chipped potatoes. No fried zucchini or wheatgrass. Simple.
- Popular nouns, rather than branded nouns. A cheeseburger is a cheeseburger is a cheeseburger, not a Whopper or a Bacon Western Cheese.
- Easy to read. For the most part, a big, painted font.
- Simple through time. A consequence (or a driver?) of the previous item. Since the stuff is painted on, it’s likely to be the same selection at the same price the next time I go. Knowing that I can expect the thing I like to be there at the price I expect makes it a simpler transaction experience. This is Law 4 at work.